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Music For the Royal Fireworks


Sarah Tintagyl
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The city of Brisbane, the center of Hanseatic culture, a city which had been the cultural center of the Pacific Ocean for the greater part of the Nordic and Tintagylian Eras shown like a freshly polished jewel against the Australian backdrop and more so the beauty of the sea that gently rocked back and forth in front of it. For the most part the city was calm, an aesthetic masterpiece, its streets busy but sparsely packed as students attending Brisbane university walked across cobblestone streets on their way to classes, as the Hanseatic elite frequented cafes and salons, and as young Lillian Guards patrolled the streets, smiles on their faces as they basked in the adoration of the citizenry. Artists and writers walked through the parks that dotted the cities, fair maidens in their arms as they told stories of brave soldiers who had fought in wars past, wars in Europe, in Asia and the civil war that had swept through Hanseatic Australia years ago. Things had changed a great deal since that time, the people of the Hansa were now under a new rule, under the benevolent, yet harsh guidance of Queen Hannah I Asgeirsson, of Australia. But this was nothing more than a new golden age that the people hoped would one day trump Tintagyl's own triumphs, though that would be no easy task and deep down, no one wanted to ever forget the clemency and strength that had made the Lady Protector immortal in the world. Today, was one of those special days.

It was going to be a party of special magnificence, both Sarah and Hannah had planned for this nearly for a year and everything in the city would be set for a week long gala of the most extravagant proportions, as only a Hanseatic knew how to do. They were a flamboyant people, glided halls, a live of excess, but that was what made their culture so unique and so strong. They had been forsaken by the world many times and yet they always managed to find friends as well. The evening of December 15th, was had always been known as Liberty Day, it had been the day where the Treaty of Vyborg had been signed giving the Hansa the independence that it so rightfully deserved. Two days later, her Ladyship, Sarah Tintagyl's birthday was to take place.

All of Brisbane had been decked out for such a monumental occasion such as this. The city was literally aglow with the lights of torches and party flames, the entire city, by order of the Duchess had been given a few days off from work and so they descended to the taverns, to the sea shore, to the ballrooms of the large hotels for nights of merriment and bliss. Merchants who worked earned triple their usual incomes while music and poetry both filled the air into the night sky. However, for the political aristocracy, many of which were both Promised Land and Hanseatic at this point, something even more spectacular had been planned. On the Brisbane River a large pavilion had been constructed, it had a cement base that floated gently on the darkened river, while marble pillars ascended to the starry night sky, a cloth covering of gold was stretched over top and candles hung down to provide light, as well as the bright lamps and torches that were placed on the grass that was grown outside of the pavilion's ballroom. The floating ballroom was one of the greatest achievements for the Gala and all world leaders, national aristocrats, and other people of power were invited to attend.

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Excellency,

It is with a joyful heart that I hope this letter finds you. You will no doubt know that the passing days will mark the anniversary of the independence of the Hanseatic people as such, the Queendom of Australia is holding a massive Gala in the city of Brisbane for the enjoyment of the world's aristocracy and citizenry in general. As you find this letter Excellency, I and Lady Tintagyl both would be more than delighted to make your audience in Brisbane for a party of grandiose magnificence. The Floating Ballroom in the middle of Brisbane River will be the center piece of this celebration as well as an exposition on Hanseatic literature, art, and music. Our culture is dear to us and we would like to impart a bit of it onto the eyes of the traveling world leader. It is with open hearts and arms that we hope to receive you in Brisbane. It will be a night that I am sure will not be lost to our memories.

Sincerely,

Hannah.png

The night of the Fifteenth, Brisbane was aflame with lights and at six o'clock in the evening, the announcement that the festivities had begun stared with a barrage of fireworks in the sky above the city. Reds, greens, and blues illuminated the starry sky for miles around as the Hanseatic population looked up dreamily at the heavens. Meanwhile, on the Floating Ballroom, the Hanseatic elite had taken to the dance floors, looping waltz after waltz while servants brought food to the outer tables that were away from the dancing and still under the night sky. Here, Sarah and Hannah's eyes lit up in joy at the colors of their people and the eternity that the Hanseatic ethnicity hand on the Earth.

Meanwhile, many roads were cleared for the arrival of foreign guests, both political and regular citizens to take part in the festivities. Police were out in force, Lillians and SWORD both, but it wouldn't disturb the merriment of the situation and the music played long into the night.

OOC: One year old baby.

Edited by Sarah Tintagyl
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Fresh off of their help in the defense of the Queendom, where Colonel Atkinson himself had notched two new kills, along with a sprinkling of single kills among the rest of the pilots, the Black Knights had felt an innate desire to party. The invitation from the Queen could not have come at a better time. David, however, was probably the most excited. He had not seen the Queen since their night together in her quarters, where she had fallen asleep on him during a movie. A small smirk still tugged at the corner of his mouth thinking about that night.

Atkinson checked himself in the mirror, grinning at how immaculate he looked. His hair was that perfect combination of neat with a touch of messy. His gray dress uniform was perfect, not a wrinkle or piece of dust to be found on it. His campaign bars and medals were pinned to his left breast, all shiny and neatly in rows. Looking down, he could see himself in his reflection in his shoes. Topping off the outfit, he had a gray cap with polished black brim, which held his Colonel's leaf with wings underneath it on the front, along with his white gloves.

The pilots decided to walk as a group to the Brisbane River. Once there, they were out to the ballroom. David couldn't help but smile as he noticed the Queen, pulling off his gray cap and sliding it under his arm.

**Brisbane Airport**

Tom Dobbs, dressed in a sharp black tux with black bow tie, walked down the stairs to his plane. He was still oblivious to the trouble going on back in his country as he got into a limo and headed for the ball.

Edited by Pravus Ingruo
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*The Floating Ballroom*

Luis was impeccable this evening; of that he had the highest confidence. Dressed in a high collared dress coat, well cut dress trousers, and the sword Camberlain buckled to his hip, he passed through the crowds looking nothing less than the Shining Light that he had always been. The uniform was finely made, white against light blue, with a single brilliant white stripe running down the seam of the trousers. The coat was stunning white, one side empty save for a single sword pin, the other with medals won during the long years of his service. It was not his own; this was truly a special occasion, as this same uniform had been the Margrave Khendon's when he led the Marchar in the Silver Revolution, long ago. History was to be made this night, and Luis would certainly look the part.

As he made his way to Sarah and Hannah, he bowed low, one hand cast out, one keeping tight check of his sword. "Ladies...tonight is a night of nights. We have come so far, lost and gained so much, that no one will ever really know what we who first believed in the Hanseatic dream have sacrificed...nor how beautiful we find this present paradise."

He looked up and smiled, a half-grin at his somewhat exxagerated posture. Popping back up, he grinned. "But the Marchar shall not dissapoint! Tonight is the night we re-affirm our oath, celebrate the lives of our honored warriors, and finally marry ourselves to our true home! Your Majesty, Duchess, we shall make of tonight a torch that shall brighten the path ahead for years to come!"

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Ava attempted to try for something different. She grew up on the culture of the Hansa, but she wanted to be seen as one who did not belong. She wore a fine golden colored dress that ended at the floor. It came across her bust and ended at her shoulders. Then, the shoulderline went up, creating a square without a top. The sleeves ended just above her elbow, with lace billowing down to about her wrists. Black lace adorned the top half of the dress, as well as most of the bottom. There was a lot of detail stitching across the corset in the front, as well as along every hem line in the skirt. Her gown had a small pocket on the right side, of which she used to store a fan. The fan was the same color as her dress, with feathers of black on the end, surrounded by lace.

Her bun sat at the lower/back part of their heads. It was lightly woven together with lace, and had strands of it falling out of the bun. Her hair was left curly, and pieces hung from the bun. The jewelry consisted of diamond necklaces, earrings, and bracelets, but nothing more than that. She had shoes that were simple, matching the color of their dresses, respectively.

She swayed at her appearance in the mirror. She was more than happy with the outfit she had chosen. Her staff behind her commented on how lovely she looked. Her cheeks turned rosy, and she knew that she was ready to attend. She took off to the ball, hoping to stun a boy this evening, but more importantly, she hoped to catch the eye of Sarah. As an admirer its all she could ever want. She began to fall in love with the idea that she could see Sarah, but as her plane began to take off, she realized that she had a passenger.

"Evening, Miss. My you look stunning. Might I have this seat next to you?"

Shocked and stunned at the same time, she barely saw her uncle for a year. She quickly hugged him and let out a tear. Then, the sudden realization of the two forces hit her mind. Lucas versus Sarah...on the night Ava was going to impress.

"You cant be here!"

Lucas adjusted his all black suit and took a seat.

"And why is that?"

Ava was still dismayed by the sight of her uncle, but she jumbled up a word to respond.

"Sarah..."

Lucas laughed wholeheartedly.

"I've simply come to see Hannah, and make sure Hank wont be there. Is that such a problem?"

Ava huffed for a moment. The thought of this ball breaking out becuase of her uncle was putting her on the brink of fainting. Lucas noticed this and stated:

"Nothing to worry about, Ava, I'll be good."

Hours later, they arrived. Ava put her trust in Lucas, and hoped to God that it wouldnt turn into a horror show. The airport was busy, but they saw a few faces they knew of. Ava quickly made her way to the transportation to the ballroom, but Lucas took his time, knowing he'd want to be fashionably late. Lucas, caught a glimps of Tom Dobbs. He laughed and thought to himself, 'still the sexiest one here.'

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Hannah and Sarah both stood together near the edge of the great floating pavilion as it made its way down the Brisbane River towards the harbor. Every now and then the sailors and marines on board would steer the ballroom towards a dock on the side of the river to pick up arriving foreign leaders and aristocrats and Hanseatics who were starting their nights a bit later than usual. Their heels dug into the soft soil of the artificial lawn that was strewn on the outside of the ballroom, here along with torches and white wire tables gave the images of the lovely parties that Sarah would hold in Solidor Manor during the First Commonwealth, it was a return to a less complicated time. Sarah stood in a red plaid dress, her blonde hair hanging low over her shoulders, Hannah standing a bit taller in a fashionable black gown cut off at the shoulders, with a ruby necklace hanging low, was the epitome of calm at the moment, her tiara sitting gracefully on the top of her white hair, and both sapphire and emerald jewels staring out into the illuminated city.

"So this is where we finally find ourselves Hannah. You know the roles, they seem to have switched dramatically." Sarah chuckled looking at the crown on the top of the Queen's head. "Would you have ever believed that in just so long of time, all this would have happened."

Hannah sighed gripping her wine a bit more tightly around the glass. "No. I'll be honest Sarah, if there's anyone who can offer up an observation at what has happened to us in during this time. Christ, it seems that just yesterday I was only eighteen years old and watching you on the television in Turku signing the Treaty of Vyborg. I still remember Confederate Tion."

"Yeah." Sarah looked down into the glimmering water of the Brisbane River. "It does just seem like yesterday doesn't it."

Both of them had their memories, both of them still remembered everything that made the Hansa their own. Sarah could still remember meeting Larsa for the first time in Helsinki, she closed her eyes at the thought, it was too hurtful. She remembered Nikolai Romanov, she remembered a man named Raglan who had began the Exodus to Australia, she remembered the Great European War, the Exodus, she remembered the fall of the United Francoist Empire, her fateful trip to Niflheim, and she remembered so much more. She had changed so much that looking back, she wasn't even the same person who had been on that plane to Australia those many years ago.

Likewise Hannah felt the same way, her journey had transformed her even more so, both figuratively and literally. She had been on the beach assault in Rostock, she had watched her family perish in the fires of nuclear war and there had been the nights where she never thought she would be the same again. But Hannah was not like Sarah, not one bit, the Asgeirssons had never been wealthy, she had joined the military academy because she couldn't afford to go to private schooling and yet here, the peasant girl who had given so much for Her Lady was the one that wore the crown. It fit strangely on her head.

"You know, I never really got to say this to you, that evening that you were leaving the Hansa." Hannah turned to her and touched her shoulder. "I never got to say really that we would miss you, not just as a leader, but as a person. This world is so screwed up, I really don't know what to make of it anymore."

Sarah chuckled and took a sip of her wine. "You know that's precisely the reason that I left in the first place Hannah and I know one day you'll throw that tiara off your head as well. No one person should be allowed to hold sway over a people forever."

"I don't know, when people think of the Hansa, they think of you Sarah."

"That's because we define our people. The Hanseatics have been a people tried and tested in the world almost constantly. That test has made me a stronger person and I know it will make you one too Hannah, I know that deep down."

"I guess I can't believe its been so long, with what we've done with our lives." The Queen raised her glass and pinged it against Sarah's own. "Here's hoping that our people will always be eternal."

"Hannah, they already are. You need not worry about that. The problem, the way I see it. How do you and I escape this eternal life?"

"I guess we can't."

"You're learning fast."

As they stood on the edge of the pavilion, the footsteps of someone approaching caused the two ladies to turn as they came face to face with the young Marchar gentleman, Luis de Luit. Sarah and Hannah both had an interesting history with this Marchar and for a night like this they both wore a large grin on their faces as he approached.

"Ladies...tonight is a night of nights. We have come so far, lost and gained so much, that no one will ever really know what we who first believed in the Hanseatic dream have sacrificed...nor how beautiful we find this present paradise."

"Indeed we have Lord de Luit." Said the Queen. "All thanks to Lady Sarah here as well."

"Again, you give me too much honor Your Majesty." Sarah said jokingly as she turned back to Luis. "Honestly Luis, you shouldn't be so cordial to us. It is we who should be cordial to you, at least me, all those nights spent together in the studies and conservatories talking quietly about the Commonwealth and its successes. There would be no great Commonwealth if it were not for you. I owe you more than anyone else does and I never really made due to that, I apologize." She leaned down and kissed his forehead and looked back over at Hannah. "Good Lord, the nostalgia, my two Knights finally in front of me again. All we need is ComIntern and Nordland to exist again." She laughed.

"But the Marchar shall not dissapoint! Tonight is the night we re-affirm our oath, celebrate the lives of our honored warriors, and finally marry ourselves to our true home! Your Majesty, Duchess, we shall make of tonight a torch that shall brighten the path ahead for years to come!"

"I look forward to seeing it Luis, I think we both do." Said Hannah looking at Sarah as the Duchess nodded.

"The Marchar people have and will always be dear to the Hanseatic heart, so whatever choice of action you take, we will be most anxious to see it." Said the Duchess.

As they talked, Hannah also spied David Atkinson arriving as well as their eyes met, she gestured him to come over towards where she stood, so that at least he could meet the famed Duchess of Brisbane as well.

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*New Slavyanka Palace*

The Emperor of Michuraza,Kachiyuri Michuraza was given the invitation and looked at it with interest.

"Hmm this is being held by the Queendom of Australia hehe this could be interesting and I think this is a good time for Michuraza to make good relations with the Hansa people of Australia this will also help our country prosper in the future."

He stood up from his throne and prepared to set off to Australia for this banquet that the Queendom was preparing,he also decided to bring his prime minister Nobuyuka with him sense he didn't want to go alone, he was leaving Michuraza from Dongzi Airfield in the Michurazien royal jet which is also guarded by 6 F-15 Eagle's on their way towards the Queendom of Australia.

The F-15 Eagle's will pull back as soon as the Imperial Jet lands in the Queendom's airfields.

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The crisp Australian air blew across the Prefect's gleaming face. His cologne effused through the air, floating gently around his escort, Grand Patriarch Callin Nkailu. With a smile on her face her tanned black skin rubbed up against Zemunda's and kiss him on the cheek. Blushing, he rolled his eyes at her and embraced her with a full kiss.

The sky was like a mosaic painting, strewn from the heavens in a marvelous display of smoke and lights. His black tux sat somber on his shoulders, while her dress glistened under the lights, sparkling in white and black stripes. "My dear Grand Patriarch," Zemunda began, "the night is so beautiful, but it pales in comparison to you."

Callin blushed and giggled a bit. Being raised in the military all her life and leading various campaigns, she was hardened for such a petite and dainty woman. Yet even she was a sap for overly cutesy antics, especially from her lover of two years. Instead of verbally responding, she held Zemunda tighter against her side, cherishing the moment for as long as she could.

Together, hand in hand, within each others' embrace, they gallantly walked into the grand ball to celebrate Hansa's momentous occasion.

Edited by SpacingOutMan
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Katrina Michaelson hopped off the plane with a cackle of laughter. Standing on the tarmac at Brisbane International she surveyed the large open spaces with the wonder of a tourist, yet in her mind, she was memorizing. Memorizing entrances, exits, check points, her training came naturally, and was well hidden within her usually ditzy demeanor. But this was all an act, for within the young lady was a cold, calculating killer, constantly looking, constantly watching.

"Your father would be proud of your skills, but Kat, they are not needed, nor are they allowed to be used here, understood?"

Turning around suddenly, Kat saw her partner for today's Gala Event, Nyani Oshibutu, exit the same commerical airliner. Dressed in a black, sleeveless formal gown with a black suit jacket overlaying it, she looked a world apart from the usual black-jumper wearing Foreign Diplomat the world was used to seeing, or hearing from.

"Ohhh yeah, General Michaelson approves....Trust me. Everything will be fineee," Kat assured with a hint of disdain at the mention of her adoptive father. Michaelson always reminded her of 'the Mission' and how important completing 'it' was to their Nation.

"We're both here to have a little fun, mingle, and possibly make some friends. Everything will be cool."

If Nyani was reassured by Kat's statement, she didn't show it. Instead she turned to Kat's appearance. Dressed in a low cut strapless with a wrist band and yellow hair tie, it was Kat's tattoos that drew the most attention to her otherwise perfect figure. Normally covered in a top secret paste when on Missions, Kat chose to do nothing to cover the dozens of pictures and sayings that made up Kat's colorful personality and military background for today's event.

"Nice dress. I like the the touch of yellow by the way. But did you HAVE to keep your tattoo's visible?"

"Thanks," Kat answered absentmindedly, all ready the eager tourist was reactivated again and Kat was on full blown ADD mode, ignoring Nyani's last question. "C'mon! We're gonna be late lets move!"

Kat grabbed Nyani's hand and soon the odd couple made off towards the Floating Ballroom.

OOC: Kat has the same personality you all saw in the defunct Big Brother thread.

You're also all acquainted with Nyani already, so I thought, why not throw her out of her element?

Edited by Executive Minister
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Upon receiving the invitation, Amyante had for a long while considered whether or not she should go. On one side, the Australians were her friends and allies, and those she counted among her close friends. On the other, she was well aware of the scandal Zargathia was currently involved in, and until it would become clear who exactly was behind it there would always be those laying the blame at her feet. While she was aware that one cound not blame the head of state for every crime committed in his or her country, there was a core of truth in it given that she was the main person responsible for running her country.

In the end, she decided she would go, knowing that locking herself in her office would not help the situation any bit. Despite what happened, the world kept turning, and it would be up to her to show that Zargathia was still a part of that world. Splashing some cold water on her face, she started preparing for a journey to Australia.

-----

Approaching the ballroom, she silently held her breath as she was announced. She was wearing an orange china dress with a fire pattern on it, and matching elbow gloves that ultimately left only a little bit of upper arm exposed. The color was picked to accentuate her natural hair color without making it stand out, and with some tactically placed makeup anyone looking in her face would find themselves focused on her eyes. It was a good call that she had hired a make-up artist despite generally not coming near the stuff, as it was at times like this when she was desperately in need for a good impression that she was grateful for the woman's skill.

Walking up to Hannah and Sarah, she noticed a person looking vaguely familiar... Looking more closely, she recognized him as one of the people that were present at Sarah's house during her surprise visit. Luis, she believed he was called. Either way, the first thing to do was congratulate the hosts with the Hanseatic anniversary. Not Sarah's birthday, mind you, as it was considered bad luck in doing so before the day would actually have come.

- "Hi. Congratulations... With the Hanseatic anniversary, i mean. Heh."

She offered to shake hands with Hannah, Sarah and Luis, and truthfully one had to be blind and deaf to not notice she was at least a little bit nervous about her first official appearance in public since the election fraud had been made public. Even though she had no direct involvement in the scandal it still had an effect on Zargathia, which in turn reflected badly on her as personification of the state. Glancing from Hannah to Sarah, she tried to read their faces for an initial reaction, hoping it would be a good one...

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Mikhail came to the ball with a mix of eastern and western fashions. He wore a modern tuxedo, but at the same time, he had on the cloak of the Sultan. With him, he kept a long scimitar in its sheath as a walking stick. He flew to Brisbane, not knowing what to inspect. He rarely attended parties, always busy with some pressing issue back in his country. However, now was a dull time, and he could not miss the anniversery of the mighty Hansa. His small plane flew into Brisbane, and once the propellers stopped, be would be able to climb down the steps. He got out and was already sweating, partially because he was incredibly nervous, and partially because it was 20 degrees hotter in Brisbane than in Marscury. He looked at his watch, and jumped back at how late he was. "I gotta move," he shouted, as he ran towards the river. Running down to the river, he passed through the city, and was amazed. His country looked almost primative compared to the marvels he saw here. "What these people see in everyday life," Mikhail said, "is what my people would see only in a fantasy." Nearly out of breath and with his feet throbbing from running in dress shoes, he finally came to the floating ballroom that was docked at the pier. He hid behind a building for a couple minutes to catch his breath, he needed to make himself presentable. He took the sword out of the sheath, and used it as a mirror to make sure everything was in the proper place. He finally walked over to where Hannah and Sarah were standing. He planted his sword in the ground and knelt before the two women. "Your majesty," he said, tilting his head before Hannah. "M'lady," he said, pulling a flower out of his cloak, and gave it to Sarah. He then bowed his head again, awaiting their response.

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Colonel Raglan arrived in Brisbane as quickly as deemed appropriate. He was looking splendid, in full ceremonial uniform, with a sword at his belt in place of his more favoured weapons. The blade had been exquisitly treated. It was razor sharp and gleamed as brightly as the polished medals pinned to Raglan's chest. It was impossible to miss the splendid structure. The river it sat upon glistened, reflecting the thousands of lights from the platform itself, and the fireworks in the skies above.

As he approached, he saw the Hanseatic leaders on the edge nearest him, greeting guests, though he could make out few faces. He had become somewhat detached from the political scene. He wondered, vaguely, if Lady Tintagyl would recognise him. It had been nearly three years, to his reckoning, since he had last come into contact with her. He pushed the thought out of his head as he made his final approach, and forced a smile onto his scarred face. As he finally stepped aboard, he turned and saluted. That in itself was something he had not been required to do for some time.

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As she made her way down to the ballroom floor, her name was announced. Ava realized that lucas was no longer at her side. It was comforting to see that they were too seperate figures. What did worry her was the fact that Lucas wasnt on line, nor was he even at the entrance anymore. She only hoped that her uncle would hold his promise.

She descended the stairway in hopes that she'd catch the eye of Sarah as well as a young lad to hold her hand throughout the night, either way, she looked foward, not looking down at those on the floor. When her foot hit the bottom stair, a hand extended to her. Lucas was there, looking brilliant as ever. He placed her ot the floor and winked at her. He looked off into the distance where Sarah was. He got down to her level by bending his knees. He said with a smile,

"Go to her. She is a remarkable person. Almost as remarkable as you."

The word vomit was back, and Lucas gave Ava the happiest comment of the evening, no, her life:

"Your father would be very proud."

He hugged her, and drifted off into the crowd. Ava gained herself, and began to walk towards Sarah with a smile.

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It was to be expected, of course, that the largest group of guest would be from the Queendom itself--natural, as this was where it was being held.

Daniel Jackson was currently off to the side, his hands in his pockets as he observed the goings-on with a smile.

Westly Davies was elsewhere, on an isolated section of the platform. Despite the rather festive occasion, he wore a particularly glum expression, though he showed no inclination for any of the drinks being offered.

Anthony spotted Benjamin Wallace trying, with decidedly mixed results, to flirt with a group of off-duty Lillians. One of them giggled at a comment the man made, while another slapped him full across the face and stalked off...wait, that was Melissa. He chuckled. Another illustration of the temper of redheads. Wallace shrugged it off and resumed the conversation where it had left off.

Melissa, when she left the group, had unknowingly walked in her father's direction. He stepped in front of her with a smirk. "What, going to leave without saying hello to your old man?" he said.

She looked up from her feet, the smile growing on her face. He was surprised by the strength with which she embraced him. "Father, I missed you!"

Chuckling, he replied, "But we've been apart before and you never reacted like this."

Retreating to arm's length, she looked him in the eye to make her reply.

"Yes, but never for this long."

He shrugged. "True enough, I suppose. And..." he adopted a thoughtful expression, "Now that you've found your vocation, it's time you try to find someone to share that life with..."

"Da-ad!" she protested, about to give him a shove until she saw the twinkle of amusement in his eye.

She turned in the direction of Sarah and Hannah. "They seem to be collecting quite a crowd."

"Of course. They are the hosts, after all."

As she made her way down to the ballroom floor, her name was announced. Ava realized that lucas was no longer at her side. It was comforting to see that they were too seperate figures. What did worry her was the fact that Lucas wasnt on line, nor was he even at the entrance anymore. She only hoped that her uncle would hold his promise.

She descended the stairway in hopes that she'd catch the eye of Sarah as well as a young lad to hold her hand throughout the night, either way, she looked foward, not looking down at those on the floor. When her foot hit the bottom stair, a hand extended to her. Lucas was there, looking brilliant as ever. He placed her ot the floor and winked at her. He looked off into the distance where Sarah was. He got down to her level by bending his knees. He said with a smile,

"Go to her. She is a remarkable person. Almost as remarkable as you."

The word vomit was back, and Lucas gave Ava the happiest comment of the evening, no, her life:

"Your father would be very proud."

He hugged her, and drifted off into the crowd. Ava gained herself, and began to walk towards Sarah with a smile.

As Ava drifted away, Melissa's gaze was turned to Lucas. Before he had gone too far, she managed to intercept him. "Hello, I don't think I've met you before," she said, holding out a hand. "I'm Melissa Harlem."

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Hell really did exist on earth, or at least for him it did. He escaped death twice already doing something almost as stupid as this, and now he was going for a trifecta brush with death only a few days after the other two. This time he took a privately owned 'honest business' plane from Port Dranagg to try and keep a slightly lower profile. Organized free port crime was probably better received that he was going to be.

Getting there was easier. He walked a good while away from the airport, then caught a taxi most of the rest of the way, and walked some more for the rest of the way. The entire way he was mumbling

"This is stupid. This is stupid. This is stupid."

He had on a nondescript military dress suit, and presented the invitation letter, a miracle in itself to have gotten to Dranagg, at the greeter. Then, straighting up to blend in with the formal crowd, walked in.

Captain Cor had arrived, thinking to himself, "I should of let them shoot me when I had the chance.", As he put on a fake smile and immediately sought out a rather isolated spot to stay out of the way.

Edited by Tahsir Re
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David saw Hannah gesture him over and he smiled. Excellent, there didn't seem to be any awkwardness at all. It was something he had been slightly worried about, but maybe the time apart had done them good. After all, they had both been exceptionally busy in the interim, defending a country, leading a country, training pilots, and the like. With a final reminder to his wingmates to have a good time but to be good, David walked over to Hannah's side, bowing deeply.

"Your Majesty." He said, his lips brushing over the back of her hand again. Turning to Duchess Tintagyl, the former Lady Protector, he grinned wider. "Duchess." He bowed again, straightening a little quicker this time. "So nice to finally meet you. I've heard much of your exploits, obviously, both in terms of leading a country and militarily. You are a legend." Dobbs had not told Atkinson what he knew about Sarah, and therefore the Air Force Colonel had no clue.

As David was finishing up his greeting, another limo pulled up, and Tom Dobbs stepped out, still unaware of the turmoil going on back in Pravus Ingruo. He immediately noticed the Queen due to her white hair, and started making his way through the crowd towards her. As he got closer, he stopped in his tracks because of the two people standing next to her: Sarah Tintagyl and Colonel David Atkinson. David was standing close to the Queen... almost too close. Flagging down a server, Dobbs ordered a drink. "Champagne, please." Sighing, he walked over to the group.

"Your Majesty," Dobbs said, inclining his head. "Colonel." He tossed a quick salute to the man with an 'I'll talk to you later' look. "Lady Protector." Dobbs inclined his head again, however this time he never took his eyes off her. The sight of her invading his office in Redemptio or Louis' dead body still had not escaped his mind.

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It hadn't taken long for the party to really pick up with the Floating Ballroom literally stopping at the various Brisbane docks on the sides of the river nearly every ten minutes. Foreigners and Hanseatic aristocrats of all shapes and sizes began to filter onto the pavilion and the servants dressed in dazzling white held dishes of sterling silver, they had light food of hard boiled eggs, caviar, small sandwiches, champagne glasses, and shots of Australian vodka, definitely not the best quality in the world, but Sarah and Hannah had both wanted to stress the ability of Australian and Hanseatic industry. Underneath the gold pavilion itself, where the Brisbane City Orchestra was set up, the side buffet had only the most quality of hot foods. Fresh fish caught from the Pacific, exotic fruits and oils from Polynesia, while various meats from the Outback were served, some of which were quite the interesting dishes. Neither Sarah nor Hannah had ever tried Kangaroo in their lives.

The Orchestra had begun a series of

for the more classical tuned, however there was also a DJ, and both the Queen and the Duchess had ever intention of busting out a dramatically different part from the balls and galas in Europe, there was no reason that modernism couldn't play a part here and toward the end of the evening, it most definitely would. But for now, the class of the Hansa's European background came out in the notes of Mozart, Haydn, and Boccherini.

As the two hostesses entertained the Marchar, many more foreign guest, especially leaders began to arrive and their attention was placed to all sides of the ballroom as the representatives began to filter their way over to where the hostesses stood. The first of which was Amyante Tojimaru of Zargathia. She had been one of the strongest Hanseatic allies in history, even thought their recent political troubles had caused a slight rift in the relationship between the two Queendoms. As she approached, both the Queen and the Duchess remained cordial, tonight was not the time to discuss unfortunate politics.

"Hi. Congratulations... With the Hanseatic anniversary, i mean. Heh."

"Many thanks Highness." Said Hannah giving a sight bow to the Zargathian Queen. "It is a pleasure to see you here as well."

"We trust your travel over hear finds you in good health Amy." Said Sarah with a smile. "And that Zargathia is doing at least moderately better. Remember, if you need our help, we are always willing to give it."

As they made first conversation with the Zargathian, the Pakistani Sultan showed up as well, walking over to the growing crowd around the Queen and Duchess. With a curt bow, he addressed the two women. "Your majesty," He said first to Hannah and then to Sarah even more reverence and pulling out a rose. "M'lady,"

"Ah Sultan Mikhail, its an honor as usual." Sarah said as she received the rose from him and placed it gently in her hair. "I'm sure you have not yet been in acquaintance with the Queen of Australia. Hannah Asgeirsson, Mikhail Stein."

Hannah smiled and returned a slight bow. "A pleasure Your Majesty, welcome to Australia. I hope you find everything to its highest degree of preparation for your tastes." She smiled.

However as the guests continued to increase, even Sarah had begun to see faces that had been absent from her life for what seemed like years since the fall, at the arrival of Raglan from New South Wales, as he approached her, the Duchess's face went white for a moment only to be replaced with the sudden joy of pink. "Major Raglan, if they even call you that anymore. My God its good to see you again." She took him close and kissed him lightly on the cheek. "It feels like its been ages. How are you?"

Still moreover, were the arrival of the two gentlemen from Pravus Ingruo, Hannah had beckoned David early on in the evening and as he walked closer, she couldn't help but flash a smile back.

"Your Majesty." He began to Hannah, to which she bowed her head gently, keeping their relationship professional for as long as she could. Then he turned his head towards Tintagyl and with the same romantic gesture bowed to her. "Duchess. So nice to finally meet you. I've heard much of your exploits, obviously, both in terms of leading a country and militarily. You are a legend."

Sarah laughed and shook her head. "So they tell me Colonel Atkinson, so they tell me. I've been around the world enough I guess that I've picked up a few trades that are quite unbecoming of a lady of status, but I never really bothered much for class or that kind of !@#$." Her vulgarity slipping as much as Hannah's did. "But that's the price you pay for never truly growing up, which I never hope to do." She pulled him a bit closer. "I've been watching you as well Colonel, your own exploits in the Raven War are something to be proud of, but try not sweeping a young Queen off her feet to quickly now. I don't know how you got past that hard shell, but I have to say its impressive. You just had better not hurt her, or you will be answering to me." She say coyly, her ice blue eyes looking deep into his own.

But not moments later, Dobbs had appeared as well toward the group around the hostesses as he greeted each of them quite quickly. His nervousness around Sarah, which she felt overjoyed at seeing, even to the point of watching him back with a wide grin, her eyes piercing into his own as well. "Don't abandon me so quickly in the evening Thomas, we will, have to dance later." She said with a final wink.

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The Yuke Prime Minister, Catherine Reznov arrived via Private Jet to Brisbane to celebrate the Hansa's one year anniversary. She wore an extravagant crimson dress, wearing a flow symbolizing peace in Yuktobania. She made her way to where the celebration would be held, in the Floating Ballroom. There she greeted the various Australian leaders and such. She did want to meet Sarah again, the last time they've really talked was when she ruled the Hanseatic Commonwealth.

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Uberstein pulls up in an BMW 328, he seemed to have a penchant for getting his hands on rare cars. Wearing his usual brown suit, and lighting a cigar, he walks towards the ball, then stops, "Right! The package." Turning around, he gets a long box, wrapped in blue paper, from the car, and has his ever-present body guard park it.

He starts to walk towards the ball.

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Still moreover, were the arrival of the two gentlemen from Pravus Ingruo, Hannah had beckoned David early on in the evening and as he walked closer, she couldn't help but flash a smile back.

"Your Majesty." He began to Hannah, to which she bowed her head gently, keeping their relationship professional for as long as she could. Then he turned his head towards Tintagyl and with the same romantic gesture bowed to her. "Duchess. So nice to finally meet you. I've heard much of your exploits, obviously, both in terms of leading a country and militarily. You are a legend."

Sarah laughed and shook her head. "So they tell me Colonel Atkinson, so they tell me. I've been around the world enough I guess that I've picked up a few trades that are quite unbecoming of a lady of status, but I never really bothered much for class or that kind of !@#$." Her vulgarity slipping as much as Hannah's did. "But that's the price you pay for never truly growing up, which I never hope to do." She pulled him a bit closer. "I've been watching you as well Colonel, your own exploits in the Raven War are something to be proud of, but try not sweeping a young Queen off her feet to quickly now. I don't know how you got past that hard shell, but I have to say its impressive. You just had better not hurt her, or you will be answering to me." She say coyly, her ice blue eyes looking deep into his own.

But not moments later, Dobbs had appeared as well toward the group around the hostesses as he greeted each of them quite quickly. His nervousness around Sarah, which she felt overjoyed at seeing, even to the point of watching him back with a wide grin, her eyes piercing into his own as well. "Don't abandon me so quickly in the evening Thomas, we will, have to dance later." She said with a final wink.

At the mention of his "exploits" in the Raven War, Atkinson's eyes flicked over to Dobbs for a moment, who had a disapproving frown on his face. He was sure that the President had heard of them, but having them brought up here was not something he wished to have happen. All that was in the past now, however.

"I thank you for your kind words, Duchess," said the Colonel, inclining his head again. "In reality, it was a chance to watch your pilots in action that got me and mine up into the air, and the Raven's chose to ambush our flight. They paid dearly for their mistake. Though I must say, your Hansa pilots are exceptionally quick learners. They performed with distinction in defense of their homeland." David swiped two glasses of champagne off a passing server's tray, holding the first out of Hannah while handing onto the other himself. "As for her Majesty, hurting her would be farthest from my mind. Besides, if I ever did, I'm sure there wouldn't be very much of me left to answer to you. The Queen has shown a remarkable ability to take care of herself."

Dobbs had clearly noticed the chemistry between David and the Queen, and Sarah's comments only confirmed his worst suspicions. The fact that Sarah seemed to be enjoying his discomfort so much made him worry that something else was afoot. He smiled cordially to her. "I'm sure that you will find me at some point tonight, Duchess. You just let me know when. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to speak to Colonel Atkinson about something."

Dobbs grabbed the taller man by the coat sleeve and pulled him away from the two ladies. "What the hell do you think you are doing here, Colonel? You were sent as an ambassador of goodwill, to train their pilots, as a personal favor for me. Instead, I hear about you fighting for the Hansa, a major violation of international law, and now you are sweeping this Queen off her feet? David, what the hell is going on? These Hansa are not to be trusted. You don't know them like I do. There are larger forces at work here. Forces that you do not want to be involved in. For your own sake as well as the good of the Federation, end this fling with the Queen, finish your work here, and come back home."

"A fling, Tom? Is that what you think this is? You think that I am attracted to Hannah simply because she is royalty, because it's an echelon I haven't cracked yet in my life? I'm 31, Tom. Eventually, I need to stop chasing every girl that walks by and settle down in my personal life. Hannah excites me, she really does. And beyond her hard as steel exterior, there is a girl who is scared of all this responsibility that has been dumped upon her. She opened up to me... she needs me. I cannot, and will not, leave her."

"Colonel, I am giving you a direct order to stop seeing her immediately."

"Mr. President, respectfully, go to hell." David turned on his heel and walked back towards the Queen, leaving Tom alone and standing there in the middle of the crowd.

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However as the guests continued to increase, even Sarah had begun to see faces that had been absent from her life for what seemed like years since the fall, at the arrival of Raglan from New South Wales, as he approached her, the Duchess's face went white for a moment only to be replaced with the sudden joy of pink. "Major Raglan, if they even call you that anymore. My God its good to see you again." She took him close and kissed him lightly on the cheek. "It feels like its been ages. How are you?"

"It's Colonel now, Milady. It has been some time, I'll admit, but the pleasure is still mine."

He returned her kiss with one of his own, and immediately went pink. It was so far beyond his station it felt wrong. At least she remembered him. He had saved her life enough times, so he shouldn't have been surprised.

"As for how I am, let's simply say that I wish the years since our last parting had been as kind to me as they obviously have been to you."

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Uberstein pulls up in an BMW 328, he seemed to have a penchant for getting his hands on rare cars. Wearing his usual brown suit, and lighting a cigar, he walks towards the ball, then stops, "Right! The package." Turning around, he gets a long box, wrapped in blue paper, from the car, and has his ever-present body guard park it.

He starts to walk towards the ball.

OOC: This ought to be interesting...I'll say hi once he's actually in the ball ;)

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Emperor Kintober honestly hated attending parties, however, Hannah's were an exception. The man had decided to dress a little more in his personal element. He wore a white overcoat resembling that of a doctor's, and a black suit that had more in common with scrubs then anything else. In fact, the suit was made out of the same fabric that scrubs were. Kintober simply loved the feel of scrubs. Call it an obsession. On his feet were black winter boots that belonged on a mountain climber rather then an Emperor at a ball. Pinned on the left side of his suit's collar was the Eggman flag. No one could accuse Kintober of unoriginal dressing, that was sure.

He idly scratched the scar on his face and ran a hand through his prematurely graying hair. Despite being 36, he felt twice that age. Ah well, what can you do? He looked around the ballroom. Noting several prominent figures as well as the two primary, he debated whether he should try to talk to them first. He decided to do it later and try to see if he could "shoot the breeze" with Sarah or Hannah. He took a deep breath, and walked over to them. "Goodday Queen, Dutchess." He said to Hannah and Sarah respectively. "I hope I'm not interrupting anything. If either of you aren't busy at the moment, might I have a word with you?"

Edited by DrKintobor
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Amyante almost sighed in relief as she heard the cordial response. Even though she was able to keep her emotions in check, there was a way the tension in her face relaxed that practically shouted her feelings to the observant onlooker. And unfortunately for her, that would be all three people near her.

- "Aye, t'is a pleasure tae hear it."

Eyes widening, she quickly glanced around to see if anyone was close enough to overhear her composure slipping enough to have some of her native accent seep through. Softly coughing as she noticed more people approach, she nodded a greeting at them while pretending there was something stuck in her throat. In a way, there was, but it felt better to blame it on some of the food instead.

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As Atkinson walked back towards Hannah and Sarah after his brief meeting, he did his best to hide the bit of anxiety that he had on his face after meeting with the President. "Everything okay David?" Hannah asked smiling after he returned. "You seemed a bit distraught over there, so I'm hoping that there isn't a problem with the President, with our countries cooperating and all."

Sarah smiled and looked down at a ring on her finger and in a voice that ran along the border of being en passe. "No Hannah, President Dobbs would not even think of forgoing the Hansa. He is the strongest ally we have, I assure you. Loyal to the last."

"I guess I owe that a bit to you don't I David." Hannah smiled back at the Colonel.

As they talked, Colonel Raglan had finally addressed Sarah, his age apparent in both his voice and his movements.

"It's Colonel now, Milady. It has been some time, I'll admit, but the pleasure is still mine."

"Of course Colonel, I'm sorry, It always is a pleasure and it has been far too long. I hope that we'll be able to keep in touch a bit more then. I owe a lot to the man that rescued me from Helsinki." Sarah said with a smile. She then listened to his description of his age and her grin formed into a great smile. "Not at all Colonel, you look fine, there's wisdom in old age, you know that."

Talking to Raglan and David, Hannah and Sarah hadn't even noticed Sammyace Kintobor walking into the pavilion as well, walking over he was received well by both of the girls. Especially Hannah who always received her previous friends with the greatest sign of respect. But when he asked them if he was interrupting anything that couldn't bear to spare a minute at the present time. "Though you're welcome to stay and chat Your Imperial Highness." Said Sarah, I'm sure more people are going to be arriving as well. Amy talked as well and Sarah did flash a quick glare in her direction at hearing the accent. But she played it off as no such thing and continued to talk to the people gathered around her, while every so often passing a glance at Dobbs.

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